Another mind-expanding endeavor with this book! This week we are looking at the Tower of Babel and pride. Ouch.
1) What were the primary motivations of the people who endeavored to build the Tower of Babel? They desired to build a city, build a tower in the city that would reach to heaven, make a name for themselves and to not become dispersed.
2) Why did God consider is a sin to live in a city? God had commanded His creation (Adam and Eve and then Noah and his descendants) to be fruitful and multiply the earth. Building a city was not inhabiting the earth but of congregating in one place.
3) Of the five ways that Christ's glory is magnified by the spectacular sin of the Tower of Babel (pp 69-72) which one resonates with you the most, and why? I appreciate that this was foreshadowing pride being destroyed since I see so many of the sins in my life come back to pride and worrying about what others think. But the point that resonated the most with me was the fourth point: the Gospel glorified. Mr. Piper states, "A great part of the glory of the gospel is that it is not provincial. It is not a tribal religion. It breaks into every language and every people." As a person who lives outside their passport country and travels as much as possible, it is a joy for me to see how God is served and worshiped in other languages and cultures. I always walk away from a service in another country humbled that I have the opportunity to share with believers in other places. The glory of God is amazing when cultures come together to worship. It makes me ready for heaven where that will be the norm, not the exceptional opportunity!
4) Can you provide an example of the way that the Gospel of Christ takes root in literally thousands of different cultures, despite language barriers, social mores, existing religious practices, etc.? What does this say about the "uniqueness" of Christianity? When we were in Romania last Autumn, we were in congregations where the older people spoke no English (some of the teens had a rudimentary understanding). We spoke no Romanian beyond "hello," "thank you," and "peace." But we worshiped together. We sang the songs in English as they sang in Romanian. I followed along in my Bible as the Scripture was read in Romanian. Afterwards the pastor would say "what I was telling the congregation was" and we would often be able to tell him the essence even though we did not understand the words. The Holy Spirit is the same Spirit across all of the barriers and we are able to recognize the Spirit living in believers even when we cannot understand the words.
5) How are you also guilty of sin in the ways the Tower of Babel builders were? Where do you seek comfort apart from the Lord? Pride of wanting to make a name for myself, or worrying about what name I am making is a constant struggle. It is something I confess to the Lord over and over. In that regard, I often seek comfort in friends' words or ideas rather than seeking God's approval only.
6) My husband often says that at the root of every sin is pride (and I have yet to be able to prove him wrong). Was this true in the case of these people? How can you confront and rebuke your own pride? I believe that there is much truth in this. We seek to be comfortable (our own way) and to be known. I confront it with Scripture:
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. Isaiah 2:11
"Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? Job 38:4-5
To see other responses to this question, be sure and stop by The Preacher's Wife. You will be challenged and blessed!